Have you ever felt like the rewards just don’t seem to be matching the effort? I have worked in the architecture industry professionally (if you count running errands in an office while a student intern, professional) for twelve years now. A lifetime in some professions, but still considered by many, the new kid on the block in this one. And I can say that one regular basis, I have felt this way.
I spent a total of 7 years in college earning both my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Architecture, another 4-5 years as an “intern”, and close to 5 years studying for and passing all 9 of the architectural examinations, just to have the privilege of calling myself an “Architect”. And what was the one comment I got the day I received the news that I had finally been accepted into this exclusive club? “Great. Now your liable.” Man, talk about a let down.
During school, the ability to focus on that goal is easy. You are surrounded by people that are either striving for the same or relatively similar things. Get out into the professional world, not so much. Everyone has their own commitments, problems, goals, etc. You have to focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and steer toward it with a passion like never before. I came into architecture thinking that I wanted to (and was going to) be the next big designer, don’t most architecture students? But as I have grown professionally, I have slowly been drifting towards another portion of the industry, technology.
I got my real first introduction into this part of architecture while I was still in college. One of my fellow students, soon to become on of my best friends, and I had our laptops in studio one day and thought, “You know it would be really cool if we could network these things and start sharing files, and hook into the Internet right in our studio. So we brought up some more equipment, set up a network and hooked into the one network jack recently installed in the room. Lucky for us, the school had no idea what we were doing or the ability to find us at the time.
I think that this desire to utilize the newest technology within the profession that I have wanted to be a part of since I was a kid, thank you Legos, was always there. Every chance I have had to be a part of using these new toys, I have tried to take advantage of. But even now, I notice that many times I put in quite a bit of effort into things that turn, well….., into not much of anything. That is, up until recently. It feels like all of the sudden, work has shifted it’s thinking to what I have been learning for the last 8 years or so; my local AIA chapter asked me to be a part of redoing some web items, and even the state group asked me to be a part of a committee simply because I was utilizing the things that I had been finding fascinating for years. How cool is that?
So I guess I just wrote an entire blog that I can sum up with something like this. Once you find your niche in your profession, keep at it, learn more, don’t give up even when your the only one doing it; eventually it’s going to pay off, you wouldn’t pour so much of yourself into it if it wasn’t.